If you stop for 5 minutes at a subway station in any major city you will see a truelly amazing thing. Thousands of people pass through these station in an hour, and if you stop and look at them for a few minutes you see how diverse we really are, different people different characteristics, different styles, cultures, all with their own stories, I sometimes stop and look at them and play the numbers game in my head – statistically I would estimate how many of those people have given to charity, how many are murderers, cheaters, immigrants… It’s pretty impressive.
I generally like to people watch – going down drottningsgatan in Stockholm on a summers day there is a spectacular amount of tourists, locals, pretty girls, spectacular.
When living in a big city anywhere it’s easy to forget where you are, to not see the beauty, the sights, or the people. It’s well worth not rushing on the daily grind to work sometimes.
Posted by Owen Richardson on May 30, 2012
I just upgraded to a Spotify premium account – primarily so I can have offline syncronised playlists across multiple devices. Of course, I could do this with iTunes but it’s not the same, with spotify for your monthly fee you can pretty much go exploring music – just jumping from track to track and artist by artist. I have 20000 tracks in my iTunes library but I know which I like and which I do not.
My other reason for getting this is the recent acquisition of a Logitech Squeezebox Touch, which I have plugged into an average speaker. I really do want to upgrade my sound system at home, but I don’t spend enough time there – my focus is on mobility mostly. I also have a tune in account – between tune in and spotify I have radio and music consistently wherever I am. I have to love tech !
Posted by Owen Richardson on May 29, 2012
I talk often about ideas and theories relating to time and space, and the fact that each moment we have lives on in the universe forever, if we could just find a way to move backwards and sideways in time, and I do believe that. I never however lose track of the harsh facts though – we do live linear lives and although maybe one day humanity may have the potential to rule the universe and harness time and space, it’s equally as possible that we are just a blip in its history.
Sometimes you get a stark reminder of how little we know. Right now we are living linear lives that do not even span a billionth of the age of the universe. When people die they are gone, and when we are close to the, it leaves a void and if you take a moment through the grief of loss you are humbled by how little control we really have. I guess it’s a matter of perspective. As a species we focus well on tasks, we collaborate, learn and conquer. It’s easy to just focus on your own tiny world, but the fact is, everything can change in a second, people live and die in a blink of an eye and we are usually so focused on getting what we want that we forget what we have. Your best friend can be with you your entire life, then be gone without every really knowing that you care. We are so focused we take things for granted – it’s the way the brain works.
Carpe diem – seize the day – there’s a lot of wisdom to those words, becuase you never know which day is your last, the last for your friends, or the last day for humanity itself. I sound like a cheesy Internet scam but I implore everyone – take some time out to appreciate those you love even if it is just to tell them the words in a moment where it’s not the usual expected exchange of words. Live life doing the things you love.
I am not a soft mushy person, but equally I don’t want to live my life with regret.
Posted by Owen Richardson on May 25, 2012
Two Completely Random Friends
Had a strange dream last night – i will change the names to protect the innocent (I will call the American Glen, and the Australlian Bob).
So i was in a huge pub in the uk and Glen couldn’t believe there was two beer gardens. So me and Bob went to the bar to get the drinks in and Glen was gone. Later after searching the huge pub we found him – he was sitting out the front of the pub. So we had all had a bit to drink, and Bob couldn’t be assed to walk home, so he stole a small green truck. I couldn’t fit in through the passenger door so as Bob and Glen drove off, and i discovered i wasn’t in essex where i thought i was but was in fact in London. So i had to walk home and i got lost.
What does this mean? I don’t know but possibly:
- Glen is easilly impressed, and needs to get to the pub some more
- Bob is really Australian
- I need a diet, and really need a change of direction.
Of course it could all mean nothing…
Posted by Owen Richardson on May 21, 2012
I saw this a while back, but i have to admit it was 2.5 hours of pure awesomeness! It was a really well done action packed film with great special effects and the humor in places was a touch on the sadistic side, which i kind of like. There are a few moments in that film that i still chuckle about a few weeks after I’ve seen it. In particular theres a moment between Thor and the Hulk… you will know what i laughed at when you see it. I can totally recommend it, and after the time was up, i just wanted to see more. Robert Downey Jr played an excellent Tony Stark and for me his natural charisma, coupled with his playful sense of humor really stole the show. Mind you, the Hulk, a character who i don’t normally get along with also was pretty brilliant. If you haven’t seen it, see it!
Posted by Owen Richardson on May 20, 2012
I am having one of those mornings where everything goes wrong, dispute this I am in remarkably good cheer. Highlights of this morning include (bear in mind it’s only 9.15 when I write this)
- Got up 10 minutes late
- Couldn’t find my keys, 30 mins late out of the door
- Missed a train by seconds
- Got to the office, security pass isn’t working – though I haven’t been in this particular office for a while.
- Find out I need to order a new security pass. It’s going to take weeks!
- Finally get in, network cable is faulty, have to find another
- fix that, and my user is locked out…
Posted by Owen Richardson on May 14, 2012
There was a fella called Piaget who many years ago ran a famous experiment Piaget’s mountains. He was looking at child psychology and trying to understand at what age kids learned to decentralize – i.e. look at things from another persons perspective. He had three mountains in a row and on had a house on, one had a cross on, and by putting a doll on top of different mountains he would question the child to what the doll could see (e.g. could the child see the cross if the house was in the way? The idea was the child had to imagine the dolls perspective in order to give the correct answer. His conclusion was that 4 year old kids cannot decentralize, and he was later proven wrong by another guy browning who reasoned that if the kids were more familiar with the objects in the experiment they could (most kids can’t imagine being on top of a mountain because they’ve never tried it. Browning used a cop and a robber in a house to achieve more successful results.
Theres a point here. That point being that over the years a lot of work has been done into understanding the ability to see things from anothers perspective, and we can do it by the age of 4. Frankly though, sometimes i find it hard to believe sometimes, when i see people in the world around me. A simple example – many times i have had documentation submitted to me for approval which at its first draft i have had to write all over because whoever wrote it didn’t think about the intended audience. If your writing a document for a systems administrator to restore a system from backup, you need to tell that administrator where to find the backups, how to gain access to the backups, and a whole host of other things, that of course you may know, but is directly relevant should someone ever need to perform that job. You need to put yourself in that situation.
The blogs i posted before mentioned cutting people slack because a lot is going on… i shouldn’t really need to do that either, because people should stop and think about it. As its something thats proven to be an innate ability from a young age why is it, as adults, we chose do ignore it? Where does this lack of consideration stem from?
I dont profess perfection in this either – one of my oldest friends stuart says i have the most contact information but can be the worse person to get hold of. I have a really busy life, and because of that i have to prioritize just to keep myself sane, but in my defense if i have to write a document, or interact with a person i do try to see things from their perspective, because it helps me understand them.
So theres the challenge. next time you speak to someone, or do something, try to see it from anothers perspective.
Posted by Owen Richardson on May 14, 2012
Things are quite hectic at the moment – as I mentioned before I have a member of family with cancer and a lot of things going on with work as well. In truth I am doing fairly fine even though things are so busy. What really surprised me is what a lack of support and understanding I received from some corners.
I mean when I know a lot is going on with someone I cut them some slack and am tolerant when either they are not around or they are distracted. Some people completely fail to empathy. I really hope I am never like that.
Posted by Owen Richardson on May 9, 2012
Ive had a couple of privacy concerns just recently, people snooping around jumping to half conclusions about things that have not been true. Ive always been fairly honest and open when it comes to having my site here and to be honest have never had issues before this week. Ive been fairly direct and honest about all kinds of things in this blog – ive no reason not to be, but when people start to read things, jump to conclusiones, get themselves either concerned or wound up about nothing then things have to change.
Ive got no problems with being private, and in truth this blog was my one expedition into total openess – something i am going to rectify now. Im not stopping at the blog though – ive already dissabled my twitter account because i dont often use it, and am going to have a look around and reduce my online prescence as a whole. I will of course keep my professional profile in linked in.
Some people may think that this is a fairly drastic move to make, but not really. Ive been thinking of scaling down my online presence for a while now, and a couple of stupid comments, stupid assumptions have just kind of reminded me i was going to do this. For me its no big deal at all. I will keep blogging except now you will have to create a registered user to view the site – i will turn this on at midnight, giving people time to read this message first!
UPDATE: Well that didn’t work out as well as i had hoped – WordPress has all or nothing privileges which is a bit annoying – so by locking up the site i also lock up public access to things like my CV. I am still reducing my online presence but i won’t lock up my blog for simplicity sake.
Posted by Owen Richardson on May 7, 2012